Above: 'Chamfwiti' (The Tree of Witches) in Chitope Village, Luangwa Valley, Zambia. Previous to 1952, the bodies of executed wizards and witches were dumped into the hollow tree. Left: A traditional healer from the Tonga, Zambia
allafrica - Pupils at Lunyike Basic School in Chipata have not been learning for two weeks because teachers have allegedly fled fearing witchcraft.
Eight teachers have so far been reported to have requested for immediate transfers following reports of witchcraft.
Lunyike Parent Teachers Association (PTA) vice chairperson, Atron Zulu confirmed that all the teachers at the school had left.
And the Ministry of Education said it was doing everything possible to normalise the situation at the school situated in Paramount Chief Mpezeni's area.
Chipata District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) Kezias Lungu said his office had sent a new head teacher and deputy to the school.
He explained that his office was also trying to convince some teachers to move to the school.
Mr Lungu explained that it had not been easy to transfer teachers to the school because of the alleged reports of witchcraft in the area.
In another development, the PTA at Cronje Basic School in Chipata District has locked up the office of the deputy headteacher.
Cronje Basic School PTA chairperson, Maiko Mawelela, confirmed the development yesterday the PTA closed the office for the deputy headteacher on Wednesday last week because they wanted her to explain how finances paid by pupils for the electrification exercise was spent while the head teacher was on leave.
The PTA accused the deputy headteacher of refusing to cooperate with other members of staff adding that she has no regard for the PTA committee.
A check on Tuesday by a Times reporter found the office of the deputy headteacher at the Reformed Church in Zambia run school completely locked.
And school headteacher, Steve Mwale, who also acknowledged the closure of the deputy headteachers' office, said he was not aware of the decision made by the PTA to close the office.
And when contacted for a comment, RCZ, education board secretary, Chuluchaminga Nkhata, said he was not aware of the incident.
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Zambian Chieftainess Flees Palace
lusakatimes - Chieftainess Kalaba of Mansa district in Luapula Province has fled her palace for fear of being bewitched by her subjects. And several teachers at Lupende basic school in the same chiefdom have also threatened to flee the school due to what they called incessant nightmares caused by wizards.
This came to light on Sunday when Luapula Province minister Dr Boniface Kawimbe and Mansa District Commissioner Major Chibwe Nsakasha visited the rural school.
Major Nsakasha confirmed to ZANIS that it is true chieftainess Kalaba had fled the palace due to concerns of witchcraft. The DC said the traditional ruler is living in Senama compound and she intends to move to Mano near Chipili in Mwense district.
Villagers interviewed said chieftainess Kalaba had decided not to return to her palace after fleeing because every time she attempted to do so, she fell seriously ill.
Meanwhile, teachers at Lupende Basic were found to have packed their household goods in readiness to leave the school.
Parents Teachers Association Chairperson Royd Kasapo said teachers feared for their lives due to alleged witchcraft in which both unmarried and married female teachers were sexually abused while in their sleep.
Mr Kasapo said male teachers whose wives were allegedly being used by wizards equally claimed to have been bewitched, a condition that has made them incapable of consummating their marriage responsibilities.
He disclosed that the PTA, headmen and the chieftainess had decided to bring a witch finder on March 1 this year who named five old men, including a retired headmaster at the school to be in possession of charms that enabled them to abuse women in their sleep.
The PTA chairperson said the retired headmaster, a named old man and other wizards were exorcised of their charms and have since bolted from Lupende.
The deputy head teacher Afya Mwaba narrated to Dr Kawimbe how on several occasions she experienced nightmares where she was being abused.
Ms Mwaba said the relatives of the wizards have declared to continue tormenting the teachers publicly telling them that what they were experiencing in the night will continue because the charms they have were a family inheritance.
Luapula Province Minister appealed to the headmen and parents in the community to help resolve the problems teachers are facing.
Dr Kawimbe said Government has very few teachers and if the seven teachers at Lupende abandoned the school, it will be closed and the community will continue to remain backwards.
NOTE: here is an excellent site that explains witchcraft and satanism in Zambia...Lon
ATTENTION, ALL CITIZENS OF CALIFORNIA!
Click for video - 'Attention, all citizens of California!'.....he should also put out a smog alert. I thought he was going to barf up a lung! Lon
Zambian Teachers, Chieftainess Flee in Fear of Witchcraft